Wednesday, June 17, 2009

iPhone 3GS Has Multilingual Voice Control

According to the info on Apple's website, the new Voice Control feature available in the iPhone 3GS can handle 21 languages, including 3 varieties of Chinese, and 2 each of English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Multilingual Voice Over, where the iPhone can speak song titles and artists's names, is also available in 24 languages, as listed here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Typing Tajik

Tajik is a variety of Farsi/Persian spoken primarily in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, but also Iran and Afghanistan. In the former two countries, it uses the Cyrillic alphabet with 6 characters beyond those found in Russian. OS X includes the fonts necessary for this language.

You can get experimental Cyrillic Tajik keyboard layouts here. The QWERTY version has a graphic to show the character location. The PC version has the special Tajik characters on the Alt/Option layer of the normal Russian keys. Leave a comment if you find errors or think improvements are desirable.

Monday, June 8, 2009

OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: Specs Released

Apple has announced that the next version of OS X, 10.6 Snow Leopard, will be available in September, and posted its tech specs. As far as I can tell from what has been released, 10.6 will have no new language localizations (I would have expected perhaps at least Arabic) and the only expansion in language input capability may be Chinese handwriting for machines with a multitouch trackpad.

Under Key Technologies the specs say "Unicode 4". Hopefully this is a typo, since Unicode 5 has been available since 2007.

The Accessiblity page indicates that VoiceOver will be able to do all 18 system languages, but the extra voices will have to be purchased separately.

PS (6/17): I see the specs have been updated to say Unicode 5.1.